ACS inks $130m IT contract with Allergan

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Business process outsourcing Outsourcing Data management

Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) is on the receiving end of
Allergan's decision to outsource its IT functions, inking a $130m
contract with the specialty pharma firm.

Allergan is hoping the new relationship will provide it with the scale necessary to meet its growth plans as well as giving it access to new technology "to support its unique industry needs"."With our many innovative products, we operate in a wide range of global, high-growth markets",​ said Sue-Jean Lin, Allergan's chief information officer. Allergan had been looking for an IT partner that could not only support the firm's market positions, in addition to helping it meet the challenges of continued expansion, she said. Under the seven-year deal, ACS will provide infrastructure services, including data centre operations, network monitoring and management, and end-user support services for the company, which is based in California. ACS' role will also involve implementing a platform that will allow Allergan to store important data online via a network, as well as provide additional data security and more quickly and reliably restore backup data, and eliminate the chances of data loss by abolishing the need for off-site data handling. "Our partnership will enable Allergan to focus on its global core business operations as the company grows and help meet Allergan's need for advanced technological capabilities",​ said Ann Vezina, group president of ACS Commercial Solutions. A company spokesperson told that its service delivery for Allergan is distributed across multiple locations, primarily based in the US, India, and Kuala Lumpur. "Most of our IT infrastructure is centralised in the US, thus the bulk of the heavy data center hosting is here. We have pockets of servers located in field offices and manufacturing sites across the globe. These servers will be monitored and managed remotely"."As Allergan grows internationally, especially as forecasted in Europe and Asia, ACS will be positioned to host their growth in our international data centers because Allergan will require a centralised computer environment for these regions".​ IT, data management and business process outsourcing (BPO) relationships with third party providers such as ACS are becoming increasingly popular in the pharmaceutical industry. A number of large pharma firms have already had such contracts in place for a number of years, particularly with companies who carry out the work in low cost off-shore destinations such as India. ACS claims that it was one of the first providers of IT infrastructure services to manage remote IT operations on a large magnitude in the pharmaceutical industry. The company already counts the drug giant GlaxoSmithKline amongst its long-time clients. ACS became an IT outsourcing partner to GSK in June 2003 when it began supporting the pharma firm's legacy business systems. In 2004, ACS then signed a subsequent agreement to custom build a new Registration and Medication Ordering System (RAMOS), supporting GSK's RAMOS clinical trials. ACS was awarded an additional IT outsourcing contract with GSK in 2005, valued at $100.5m over five years. Under terms of the agreement, ACS is provide remote server management and monitoring services for more than 5,000 UNIX, Wintel, OS390 Mainframe, and Open VMS servers located at GSK data centres in the US and UK. Again, in 2007, ACS was on the receiving end of a new ten year contract with GSK when the company decided to consolidate all its human resources BPO services under the one umbrella in a contract valued at $171m. As part of this deal, ACS will consolidate for the company a number of services that are currently outsourced to a variety of providers or being delivered within GSK. As a result, an undetermined number of other outsourcing firms lost their contracts with the UK-based drug firm.

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